Arts

7:02am

Fri January 24, 2014
Poetry

60 Years Of Poems Mix Anger, Ambivalence And Authority

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:28 am

detail from cover of The Poetry of Derek Walcott
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Derek Walcott, who won the Nobel Prize in 1992, is one of the biggest living figures on the world literary scene. He is a celebrated playwright and a painter, but a new selection of his work focuses on the achievement for which he is best-known: his poetry.

Walcott's home, and the gravitational center of his writing, is the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia, which was tossed restlessly between French and English colonial overlords for hundreds of years until it finally achieved independence in 1979.

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5:44pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Book Reviews

'Speculation' Shows Good Stories Come In Small Packages, Too

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:32 pm

Random House/Knopf

Jenny Offill's novel Dept. of Speculation, which weighs in at 192 pages soaking wet and includes a fair amount of white space, is extremely short for a novel. It's an unusual book not only in terms of its size, but also its form. Make no mistake, this is an experimental novel. By which I mean that the narrative isn't a series of flowing scenes that keep you reassuringly grounded in plot, but a collection of vignettes, observations and quirky details that are sometimes pulled from real life.

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5:32pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Movie Reviews

Sun And Water, And A Dangerous Brand Of Desire

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:49 pm

Pierre Deladonchamps (right) and Christophe Paou anchor the dark thriller Stranger by the Lake, in which danger and desire become as tangled as in a Hitchcock classic.
Strand Releasing

The lake in Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake is gorgeous — aquamarine, pristine, surrounded by pebbly beaches and dense woods. Families cluster on the far side of it, but on the side we see, there are only men. It's a gay cruising spot, frequented by mostly nude sunbathers and swimmers, many of whom come here often enough to know each other by sight if not by name.

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5:02pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Movie Reviews

Moving Through Middle Age, With A Song In Her Heart

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 2:38 pm

Paulina Garcia was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Actress at last year's Berlin International Film Festival for her role in Gloria.
Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

The Chilean matron at the heart of the wonderfully unsettling comedy Gloria looks like any ordinary woman confronting the familiar dilemmas of late middle age. For other reasons, though, you may feel as though you've met her before.

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5:02pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Movie Reviews

'24 Exposures': A Would-Be Erotic Thriller, Without Focus

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 2:47 pm

Billy (Adam Wingard) is a photographer obsessed with making images of women who've been brutalized — and with the models, like Callie (Sophia Takal), who portray them in his shoots.
24 Frames, LCC/IFC Midnight

There are five named female characters in Joe Swanberg's 24 Exposures, and all of them spend significant portions of the movie ... well, exposed.

Actually, most of the unnamed female characters wind up in various states of undress as well, a fact that's part of a point Swanberg seems to be trying to make about objectification of women in art. In 24 Exposures, though, he straddles the line between criticizing that objectification and engaging in it himself.

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4:45pm

Thu January 23, 2014
The Salt

Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data

4-MEI, a chemical created during the manufacturing of caramel color used to dye sodas brown, is under new scrutiny.
iStockphoto

A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.

The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole — or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.

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3:46pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Found Recipes

From Down Under, A Paprikash To Warm You All Over

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:32 pm

This paprikash recipe may be well-traveled — from Hungary to Australia — but its belly-warming comforts haven't changed a bit.
Courtesy of HarperCollins

For many people, paprikash means winter. After all, it's a dish fit for cold, gray days: A belly-warming mix of meat and spices, it's the perfect cure for the doldrums of late January.

For Merelyn Chalmers, though, the classic Hungarian casserole recalls someone far dearer: her mother, Yolanda. A survivor of Auschwitz, Yolanda had rebuilt her life in Perth, Australia, after the war. "My mum was Hungarian," Chalmers explains. "We ate paprikash probably five nights a week. This was something that she just threw together when I wasn't feeling well."

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12:28pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Author Interviews

Patchett: In Bad Relationships, 'There Comes A Day When You Gotta Go'

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:58 pm

Ann Patchett is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. Her other books include Truth & Beauty, The Magician's Assistant and Run.
Heidi Ross Courtesy of Harper

The title essay of Ann Patchett's latest book, This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage, isn't exactly what it sounds like. It's actually the story of an unhappy marriage that ends quickly in divorce and results in a strongly defended refusal to marry that lasts many years. But eventually, it does lead to the happy marriage.

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10:55am

Thu January 23, 2014
The Salt

An Innovative Plan To Reel In Sport Fishermen To Feed The Hungry

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:41 pm

Students prepare fish cakes that will be part of a free dinner offered at Parkside Neighborhood Center in Portland, Maine.
Courtesy of Samantha Laster

Portland, Maine, native Hollis McLaughlin's recollection of his mother's fish cookery produces a wistful expression as he takes a bite of the fish cakes given to him as part of the regular Wednesday night meal he is served free of charge at the Parkside Neighborhood Center.

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9:22am

Thu January 23, 2014
Monkey See

Thanks For The Fan Service, But What About The Story?

Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Empty Hearse."
Robert Viglasky PBS

[Caution: This piece contains information about the season premieres of Sherlock and Community, along with a little bit about a very unfortunate side trip on Lost.]

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